ABU DHABI // Emiratis who have paid off their loans from the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme early are not receiving the 20 per cent refund they are entitled to, a member of the Federal National Council has said.
Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s meeting of the FNC, Salem Al Shehhi, a member from Ras Al Khaimah, explained that he had previously raised a question with the head of the programme (SZHP), Dr Abdullah Al Nuaimi, about why citizens who have paid off their loans before the deadline were not receiving the refund.
“I received a written response from the minister that about 70 per cent have paid off loans before the deadline and when the 20 per cent is refunded it causes a shortage in the budget,” Mr Al Shehhi explained.
He said the SZHP had been delaying paying the refunds and has extended the loan payment period from one year to four years.
Mr Al Shehhi also said he was unsatisfied with a response from the education minister Hussain Al Hammadi regarding promotion and training opportunities provided to employees with special needs.
On Tuesday, the council will discuss a draft law regarding the Emirates Diplomatic Academy. While the academy has been established since 2014, the law will give it more independent authority, said FNC member Khalid Al Zayed.
“When an authority is established by a law from the President, it has more authority than one established by a decree, so this is what makes the difference,” he explained. “It will have financial independence, legal jurisdiction and has complete autonomy over its daily decisions.”
The law’s articles will be discussed in detail during the session with representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before passing it.